God’s word

 

I have engaged with God’s word like never before in the last few months… find out how!

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The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood

I love how The Message version phrases the verse, John 1: 14,
“The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.”

I love the challenge it brings to us too.

Christmas comes around year after year, and for some it is the best season of the year, bringing huge joy and celebration, time with family and friends, the exchange of gifts, the feasting of a huge amount of food. But for some Christmas is not like this. For some it stirs terrible memories, it highlights loneliness and is tough financially and psychologically for many. The world we live in draws attention to the big celebration it should be and quite often forgets about those it is a difficult time for. We, as Christians, should be the first to remember those it’s hard for.

Christmas, for Christians is one of the major celebrations of the year, and the picky among us will try and say that we don’t know the exact birth day of Jesus, however, he was born. And that is enough for a celebration. Despite not knowing the exact day lets use Christmas to celebrate that Jesus came into this world, that God sent His only son to become flesh and come into this messy world to save us. His birth alone was miraculous, He was born into a dubious family situation, that could have caused huge shame on Mary and Joseph, He was born in messy conditions, a King should not be born in a stable. God lowered himself to enter his world, He deserved to be treated as king, yet He chose to be treated as slave. The world He was born into needed saving, hence His birth, death and resurrection. The world was a messy place, but He came into it because He loves us and wanted to save us and reconcile us with God. The Christmas story is repeated over and over and often we lose the sight of how miraculous it is, how many angelic visitations there were, and just how amazing this birth was. There was both the lowest of society at the time, and the highest of society there, the shepherds and the wise men. How wonderful that Jesus’ first moments were celebrated by those frowned upon in society and those highly respected. He came for us all, and His birth represents that.

The message version of John 1: 14, see above, really challenged me, and I think it’s a challenge for us all. As Christians we should representatives, the hand and feet of God in our neighbourhoods. We should be making impacts on our community’s, befriending our neighbours and caring for those the community is neglecting.
Take this challenge away with you today, and pray about how you can show Jesus through your words and actions in your neighbourhood and community in 2014.

God bless,
Steph x

The togetherness of Churches

Last weekend we held a youth service, One, which was the first of hopefully many, the start of a new adventure of a joint church once termly youth service. Three churches youth pastors/ workers joined together to plan this event months ago, and it was kicked off to an incredible start. Other churches joined in on the journey and about 6 churches were represented on the night. We had a round 40 young people, which for the first event is a brilliant number. Matt Summerfield from Urban Saints spoke, and he spoke so well, with 17 young people responding to the message, another Church led worship, another hosted and we each took a different role. There was a lounge which involved a local youth pastor interviewing our guest speaker, we played games and ate pizza, united as a group of young people and youth workers from the local area. The atmosphere and vibe was amazing, we really sensed God’s blessing in what we were doing and in the unity that this event has bought to Churches locally.

When Churches unite together there is a visable declaration of a shared passion; Jesus. And this can speak volumes to those not involved in Church or on the borders of Church to show that Churches can and do work together, and that this can have an impact on the local community, it is also a reminder to those within Churches that we are family, united, ultimatley, because of Jesus. The little differences in the Churches beliefs and traditions do not affect us working together, and there is beautiful moments of togetherness created if we can put these aside. We, the Church, want to express that Jesus saves and loves everyone, and the events like One highlight this common message.

On Saturday there was also a huge kid’s event, with 110 children, which also bought together many of the local Churches, and their children. Although I did not attend, I have heard brilliant things, a really blessed time with unity at the core.

Church is a community, a group of people, and when the local Churches can look past tradition, denomination etc, new communites are formed and an example is set to adults, children and young people alike that we are all family, who love Jesus, and love people. The message version speaks of God being Lord in our community, it says “The word became flesh and moved into the neighbourhood.” This is what these events are about, showing our community that the Church is one. That the Church love their neighbourhood.

Since moving to the South Woodford area I have sensed a really good vibe of togetherness between the Churches, especially with the youth workers, but even more so in the last few months, with monthly youth workers breakfasts and events such as One, and a The Big One, as well as joint work in schools, with Christian Unions and mentoring.

This togetherness is something we should be celebrating, as we see God’s blessing on what we are doing.

My challenge to you is what does the Churches unity look like in your town or area? What examples are you setting in your working together? Is there scope for local pastors or youth pastors to meet regularly or run events together?

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Have a think, and a pray about it. Feedback is very welcome.

God Bless,

Steph x Image